Change & Culture Jamming

Culture Jamming, like many other topics we have covered, brings up the issue of when alternative becomes a “sell out” or main stream. Naomi Klein acknowledged that advertisers do see culture jamming as profitable. The rejection of corporation’s money and marketing strategies seems to remain a strong hold for those established culture jammers who were provided as examples in Klein’s chapter that turned down the offers of money and fame from large corporations. These actions confirmed my belief that there is more than money and fame in making a statement. Everyday, whether we acknowledge it or not, we see thousands of advertisements and they affect our life decisions. No matter how hard you try to avoid contact with advertisements, it is not likely you will be successful. So why not make a statement? Why not advertise real issues that affect your life?

The term “culture jamming” was coined in 1984. But culture jamming is a much older phenomenon. Margaret Bourke-White’s 1937 photograph “At the Time of the Louisville Flood” which was mentioned in the article is, in my opinion, a remarkable example of culture jamming. The picture captures two distinctly different ideas of the “American Way.” The reality that life is not the same for everyone in every area has not changed. The connection Klein made between this photograph and the Diesel Brand O ads is also remarkable. The difference between the Third World and the United States is shown just as distinctly opposed as Bourke-White’s photo. The ideas and the images of advertising have a time and a place but all the corporations care about it making money. I argue that misplaced ads do not give realistic messages to their audiences and are working against messages of change and hope for the future.

Speaking of change. . . I also found it interesting how Pepsi’s new logo is being closely related to Obama’s logo. Coincidence? Pepsi seems to have no comment from the blogs and new stories I have read. I think that this connection in relation to culture jamming could be interpreted in different ways. Is it Pepsi’s attempt to alter a logo in their favor? Could this be considered a large corporation’s attempt at culture jamming? Or maybe it truly is just a coincidence.

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One response to “Change & Culture Jamming

  1. That’s a great point about Pepsi’s logo, and one I hadn’t thought about before. I’m sure the choice of the “o” isn’t entirely coincidental. Actually, the whole thing reminds me of a modified version of the Korean Air logo.

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